Tag Archives: travis keats ross

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CACTUS CROWN album cover: DEVIN MILLER

Barachos y Banditas,

Dakota Slim had originally planned to release the new long-form E.P. CACTUS CROWN on Valentine’s day 2017 – alas, this was a premature ambition as we are in the rites of spring and I am not yet finished with the unexpected lil’ opus.

UPDATES AND PROMOS ON THE DS HYMNS INSTAGRAM:

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PROMO 01:  “CACTUS CROWN”

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PROMO 02  “WASTED BONES” (Animation by Logan Ford)

 

The tracks, originally composed post-Halloween 2017 with a crippled hand on a three string guitar, were intended to be sparsely orchestrated and seldom accompanied –  an acoustic testament of solemn hymnals of sorts… again, alas, here I am deep into post-production and the monster I am incubating became another ramshackle, bedroom opus akin to the 2007 release, HITHERTO THE AMINALS.  An unexpected return to the solo sonic-lust of original sample-led rhythmic sequences, experimental analog tracking and bombastic orchestration has indeed engulfed CACTUS CROWN and though this grew to be quite the project, I am happy for it’s obsessive evolution.

Slinking out of the throws of a cosmic inner shift that left me one handed and solemnly solitary in the beginning months of this year, I rekindled my love for solo production and all it throws. After the years-long conceptually ambitious collaborative effort of my band, SPARE SPELLS, in the midst of recalibration whilst inching towards the completion of last year’s conceptual epic, THE NARROWS‘, accompanying comic book (see below), the specter of Dakota Slim rose to exorcise new material, now deft and deliberate and headstrong into a new era.

While I take my time to round out CACTUS CROWN and ready it for imminent release (for sure this April), you can taste the southwest soaked cacophonous cornucopia of sonic manifestations that will riddle the album’s maddening production:

From the Ethiopian-jazz inflected haunt of CC’s opener, NIGHT THIEF,

to the sparse and live-tracked psychic ballad, WEIGHTLESS,

The Pentecostal Surf of the theme composed for  Wayward Worship’s OCCULTCAST, WESTWARD HO,

CACTUS CROWN is sure to be fine culmination of Dakota Slim’s years of experimentation in self-produced hymnals.  A journalistic document of the moon cycles between Halloween and Spring – a feverish snapshot of the end of a partnership, the fervor and beauty of a new love and the narrative of a man trying to make sense of the contradictory extremes that riddled him.

In any case, keep your hearts crossed and your eyes peeled – the tenth (?) release from my perennial sonic identity (15 years old!) is sure to usher DAKOTA SLIM back into the fold from a silent, scheming, somnambulant saunter.

 

-The one true DAKOTA SLIM-

Travis Keats Ross

the first day of Spring, 2018 

(Revelator Rosz of W†H)

CACTUS CROWN UPDATE

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▶ Dakota Slim – Night Thief

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by DEVIN W. MILLER

Here’s a brand new song from the long slumbering Slim as he continues the construction of a new e.p. (CACTUS CROWN) and progress on the comic book/record remains steady!

Please visit THE REVEL REVIVAL for all projects concerning Revel Rosz (Travis Keats Ross) henceforth!

And of course, be sure to leer at WE THE HALLOWED for major news on the art collective/ religion Slim cotton’s to.

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SPARE ∴ SPELLS “NEON/NOIR”

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The new project of Travis Keats Ross (Dakota Slim), Justin Shelp (Elegant Bachelor) and Rén Rosz (We, The Hallowed) released their debut double E.P. on Halloween 2015.  You can buy/stream SPARE SPELLS‘ “NEON/NOIR” via every major digital music site. 
Or check it out here: 

NEON / NOIR on BANDCAMP

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“HITHERTO THE aMiNals” —– REDUX and DIGITAL RE-RELEASE!

 

 

(c) Dakota Slim and Ryan W. Brewer 2008

(c) Dakota Slim and Ryan W. Brewer 2008

Finally, the final album from DAKOTA SLIM to be re-released, “Hitherto The aMiNals” is now available in all major online retailers such as iTUNES, SPOTIFY, AMAZON, GOOGLE PLAY, ETC. This particular release is special due to a different cover from Ryan Brewer and new track listing that separates it from the original release on Bladen County Records
This means that the 6 records which document my artistic growth and output throughout the last decade are now widely available for the first time. This process has had me relive the amazing artistic life I have been gifted thus far, and instilled an incredible amount of excitement for what I have planned for the next decade. I’M ONLY GETTING STARTED.  KEEP YOUR HEARTS CROSSED AND YOUR EYES PEELED FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER!

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24 and so much MORE…

Well,

I turned the boring, even-intergered, age of 24 on the 23rd of FEBRUARY

Shit is good, yet harrowingly familiar.  I’ll get RIGHT this time around;  I took two months off of a strict music diet (for the first time in ten years) to focus on those  “oh so trivial, yet, hauntingly appropriate” societal standards I inheritley rebel against.  And I’ve done too well.  My cosmic trifecta is beautifully punget:  incorragible addiction to a woman, steady work, and consistant crotch-rot art.  Its been too long to wax nonchalance.

“THE BUNGLED AND THE BOTCHED” finally was released in December… sure, it was spear-headed by a need to release material consistantly and without too much introspection.  Of course, both records bubbled in my arteries as I scrambled to perfect their concepts.  I was happy to release the album to my bretheren in Oakland with handmade double-discs at the OASIS bar. I say “goodriddance”, though, thank JACK for the medium.   

I just made the BUNGLED and the BOTCHED availbe for FREE  at BANDCAMP.   If I was an artist that thought I could ever make money doing exactly what I wanted to do, I wouldn’t create, I would join ROGUE WAVE.

own “THE BUNGLED” and “THE BOTCHED”. >>>>>> http://dakotaslim.bandcamp.com/ 

I released another 7 song WEB-ONLY ALBUM entitled “GOD GONNA GET ME RIGHT”.  The record was paranthetical to the ideals of the B&B but with fervent retaliation: DOING IT ALL MY GODDAMMED SELF.  I wrote and recorded this album of somber and ethereal pish-posh betwixt other projects all by lonesome as a cathartic and vexed epiphany of where I was as a self-sufficient artist. 

You can download “GOD GONNA GET ME RIGHT” for free if you FRIEND ME on facebook: Travis Keats Ross > My Band > Tracks 3-9

TRACKLIST:

1. Tin-Can Vagabond

2. And It Won’t

3. First A Cough, Tomorrow A Corpse

4. Dead

5. Come Around

6. Droner

7. Don’t Hark

GOD GONNA GET ME RIGHT” is the first half of yet another double album concept.  The other?…

DEVIL GONNA MAKE ME FAMOUS” :  should be out by June.

I’m through messin’ around.

 (fresh: not determined).

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THE BUNGLED & THE BOTCHED released, 12/12/09


Listen to THE BUNGLED and THE BOTCHED at http://www.dakotaslim.bandcamp.com

I have been working on two narrative albums for over 2 years. The writing started amidst the release of my last album, Hitherto The Aminals, and production occurred in many places along the western United States. The common occurrence of bad decision making, rebellion against societal standards, and incessant drive to create have befuddled me since I realized the weight of every action I make. If “Aminals” was a loose narrative on my prediliction to American Folklore, The Bungled and The Botched would take the same lyrical writing to despondant, confused, angered and resolved situations that surround my personal life.

I posted this on myspace to explain the metaphorical narrative of THE BUNGLED and THE BOTCHED back in June of 2008:

“The Bungled and The Botched, 14 tracks, recorded in Oakland, CA and Portland, OR respectively:

This musical process (as with any creative process) can be daunting. not so much the process of the said “write/record” loop, but the problems concerning motivation versus drive. The need for productivity and the set backs caused by means of creating that productivity. These set backs could include necessity for materials outside financial means, below standard health habits, and negative effects due to an inability to change one’s environment.

I own nothing materially worth anything. But am instead a participant in a sect of people who exist to create and become buckled under their own self-critiscm and cross examination pertaining to their creations. Everything else that doesn’t concern passion, love and the pursuit to dig (and to dig deep) remains immaterial in this sect. This can cause one to lag in the hue of general perception. Eating dirt is delicious, but it can be devalued to the point of losing its taste.

I am thoroughly concerned with how much other assholes affect what I think about myself, you know? Are their ideals poisoning ours? Or am I allowing myself to feel as if I am societal miscreant? I respectively choose the latter.

It is still romantic (first word that comes to mind) to not identify with the idea of work. It is romantic to exist, with a smile, amongst dread and the art of scraping by. It is imperative to us, The Bungled and The Botched, to realize that, in a small amount of time we will die and the “what-if’s” that come after, a beautiful blunder, that should be truly exciting to us all. But, who the fuck knows, right?

Dilapedated Beds, Broken Shoes, A Myriad of Different and Mysterious Ailments, The Incessant Need for Duct Tape and Super Glue, The Derelict Neighborhoods, The Long and Harrowing Mornings, The Zest Then Regret, The Hair in the Tub, Boutings with Black Magick, The Circumstantial Hygiene, The Want for Youth while Growing Old, The Romance of Ol’ Scratch, The Adoration of an Absent Family, and The Beginning of Sinning.
This is How We Do.

The Zydeco Funeral is recording THE BUNGLED (co-produced with Jeff Schenk) in Oakland (July 2008)
The seven songs are in the vain of what Nietzche said about us losers:

When Christianity departed from its native soil, that of the lowest orders, the underworld of the ancient world, and began seeking power among barbarian peoples, it no longer had to deal with exhausted men, but with men still inwardly savage and capable of self-torture — in brief, strong men, but bungled men.

ISOLATOR and Dakota Slim [The Hallowed March] will be recording the second half of the album trans-westcoast (Portland and Oakland) entitled THE BOTCHED (co-produced with Dominque Reveneau) (july 2008)
The Seven Songs are about us as societal dregs:

Socialism, Puritanism, Philistinism, Christianity — he saw them all as allotropic forms of democracy, as variations upon the endless struggle of quantity against quality, of the weak and timorous against the strong and enterprising, of the botched against the fit.”

The recording and technical process of both albums unavoidably exemplifies these ideas as well.

“THE BUNGLED” started with home demos (one of which, “Cruel Lastima”, is actually used) recorded by my lonesome at a then girlfriend’s apartment in Korea Town, Oakland. Though my collegiate lifespan at Expression College was shortlived, I had managed to find a keen partner and all-around sonic patron in Jeff Schenk. We had performed early versions of these songs sometimes as a duo, and sometimes as a chaotic 6 piece. We moved the demos to the studios of Expression, where I recorded most of the junk percussion and rhythm guitar parts. Later, we would return to the school to finish vocals.

Jeff and I had played these songs with a revolving cast of so many local musicians that the finished product seems to be a perfect semi-colon in the Dakota Slim discography, leaving many members behind, and allowing the hope for many more to join.

This is why the finished document is a prime example of young nefarious musicians dipping their skin into my amorphous pool of songs. Around this time, Jeff and I, along with my great friend and confidant, Ryan Stively (Port O’ Brien) were performing all over San Francisco and Oakland. I was hosting a futon in a friend’s sleephole on Apgar st. in Oakland when I decided to dub the revolving, and inconsistent, backing crew The Zydeco Funeral. The Funeral’s pique consisted of Danni Finneman‘s involvement as a back-up singer; Danni drew me to a large crowd of fellow naysayers including another back up vocalist (Rayna Kilroy), junk percussionists (Dave Campbell and Sterling Leva), and whatever ghoul or goblin we knew around Mama Buzz that wanted to shout or bang on beer bottles. You can hear Danni’s hauntingly beautiful voice over the home recorded “Cruel Lastima” and “Now I slumber”, which is the coda to this musical outing. Danni remains the only member of that large community that I encapsulated on record.

After most of the auxillary players dissolved, Jeff and I remained. Not soon after, I seduced a Mr. Ryan Parks to embark on these recordings. Parks would later round out the overtly re-recorded material with his superb bass playing and drumming on songs like “Salvo, Siempre, Salvo” and “Que Locura.” Parks is an amazing songwriter himself, which is exemplified with his work with NO’s and B.Hamilton. Our collaboration on The Bungled would later evolve into the B.Hamilton/Dakota Slim hybrid THE AWFUL LOT with long-time Dakota Slim performance drummer Bill Crowley, of Oakland’s finest instrumental hip-hop crew, ShinythingsRo-z (Wordsky, Good Mitten/Bad Mitten) contributed her amazing voice to “Que Locura” and her awesome fiddle skills to “Zydeco Funeral”Roberto Miguel played the slickest trombone, I’ve ever had on any recording, on “Que Locura.” And Mr. Blake Ellington Larson (Belly of the Whale, Porchlife) and Ryan James allowed me to throw their choral duties on “Las Resultas”.

Even though I feel the album to bit a bit unfinished, I can’t deny the relevance to the “Bungled” creedo. The somewhat disgruntled production, the janky instrumentation, and nervous vocals do well to place me in the nervous sunlight of the Bay Area in the late 20-oughts.

“THE BOTCHED” was retardedly simple to compose.  I recorded vocals, guitars, and banjos then shot the files to my boy in Portland, Oregon, Dominique Reveneau (who produced and engineered “The Hymns of Dakota Slim) where his band Isolator (Colin and Nate) dumped there amazing talent on top and created the most sonically amazing album I’ve ever been a part of.  The Hallowed March was born, and hopefully we will tour and become more of an integrated band, soon.

My artistic life partner, Ryan W. Brewer did the art for both records.  He spent just as much time through trials and tribulations trying to figure out the perfect art for the concept, and he came up with these epically amazing images:

Ryan and I will be working on our graphic novel, ZOZOBRA, next.  I promise it to be nothing less than amazing.

I have found nothing has changed in regards to the aforementioned sentiments that THE BUNGLED AND THE BOTCHED consists of. The only thing is that my bite for a fully satiated creative mind is engulfing my intention, fully, and am disastrously resilient when it comes to being defunct via societal standards.

It’s Finished, and I couldn’t be more proud of my friends and the help I received in making the two best records of my career.  Come help me celebrate all our hard work!


and check out the quick video I made after shooting guns in Arizona for DS + THE HALLOWED MARCH’s “RAZA RHUMBA”

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The Incorrigible Default

What is a boy to do when left to his own devices?  It is frightening when he’s not distracted.  Frightening when his mind is poisoned by the venom of the Great Spider.  Her tangled weave astounds him when he’s left to ponder it.  When he realizes that him, without disruption, is a disastrous debacle of missed connections.  Though the synapses connect rapidly between his ears when he is left to himself, they merely provide a stark realization of just how much he depends on all her other cronies to join him in the fight, and yet, they have their own tangled weaves to forge.

The Great Spider reminded me of my incorrigible default.  Away from my norm in Oakland, but amidst the frenzy of my past in Phoenix, I can sharply revisit my default setting.  My dramatics.  That impending doom.  Doubt.  Doubt. Doubt.  Back on the chain gang.  And weary of the future.

I had spent a blissful couple of months in Oakland this last fall.  The season always warms me to a degree of worry, because one thing a man can count on is changing weather.  And the season is almost at its end.

I was safe during the hold of the day.  I had taken an excursion to bumfuck Arizona on a 4 wheeling trip, packed with guns, and a fantastically homey view of the outdoors that I had sorely missed living in the confines of Oakland.  As I shot a .50 calibur handgun aptly titled “The Judge”, I let the recoil reverberate all of my insides like a magnetic baptism.  I felt at home with great expectations abound.  As we left the final destination, Arizona’s oldest Saloon/Bordello in Crown Creek, I was reminded of the Great Spider’s ineffible will as the stars started to sparkle.  As soon as I had returned to my quarters, I was alone.  I found the magnetic reverberations from the day starting to throw me into a frantic confusion.  I raided the medicine cabinets, made myself a drink, blasted Ricky Nelson, lit a cigarrette and awaited the apocalypse of my good fortune.

I’ve realized that I have been too dependable on others for my happy days.  My default setting reminded me that I have been too above ground because of the celestial connections I’ve encountered this fall, and that me, alone, is more of a realist than I give myself credit for.  In the company of others, I find myself incessantly trying to prove that I’m living the good life, the free life; no matter my poverty or homelessness;  its all Rock and Roll, baby.

The funny thing is, that it is Rock and Roll.  Everything I’ve lived has been truly that, no matter the consequence.  Perhaps that is what keeps me afloat.  The Great Spider reminds me to be cautious, but She is a silly beast always teasing me and allowing me to visit both sides of my spectrum.  And allowing me to understand my ultimate trut: my uncanny ability to do what I want to do, whenever I want, and the utilitarian construct to gain the materials to just that.

If my incorrigable default is that of low expectation in fear of disappointment, it does nothing but help my joints loosen, diaphragm breathe, and cigarrettes taste better.  To take a moment of everyday and realize my cowboy luck is still strong, and in fact, had never wained, is a sedative.  Though, the key is to be appreciative of Her beautiful webs we all weave and the beauty that exists when our respective silks are crossed.

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THE LAMED VOV (for The Dharma Temple)

“The creative spirits are the fecundators: they are the lamed vov who keep the world from falling apart.  Ignore them, suppress them, and society becomes a collection of automotons.”

Henry Miller, 1962

I own nothing materially worth anything.  But am instead a participant in a sect of people who exist to create and become buckled under their own self-critiscm and cross examination pertaining to their creations.  Everything else that doesn’t concern passion, love and the pursuit to dig (and to dig deep) remains immaterial in this sect.  This can cause one to lag in the hue of general perception.  Eating dirt is delicious, but it can be devalued to the point of losing its taste.

The FISH HEAD simply reminds us rogues, naysayers, and ne’r-do-wells that regret is moot.  Everything is encouraged.  What you do, no matter the societal ramifications, is blessed by the serenity of living to live.  Everything is fun, and if it isn’t fun…it’s fucking funny.

Discordianism, no matter the sect, is a facet of controlled chaos.  Manifestation, according to Austin Osman Spare, is dubiously aided by the swift hand of a devilish archetype.  Making things exist, blindly, is a wonderful thing that everyone should practice.  Quit shivering you God-Fearing sissies, it’s time to shine.

It is still romantic  to not identify with the idea of work.  It is romantic to exist, with a smile, amongst dread and the art of scraping by.  It is imperitive to us, The Bungled and The Botched, to realize that, in a small amount of time we will die and the “what-if’s” that come after, a beautiful blunder, that should be truly exciting to us all. 

The Nietzchean idea of The Bungled and The Botched is a bit too fitting.

When Christianity departed from its native soil, that of the lowest orders, the underworld of the ancient world, and began seeking power among barbarian peoples, it no longer had to deal with exhausted men, but with men still inwardly savage and capable of self-torture — in brief, strong men, but bungled men.

Socialism, Puritanism, Philistinism, Christianity — he saw them all as allotropic forms of democracy, as variations upon the endless struggle of quantity against quality, of the weak and timorous against the strong and enterprising, of the botched against the fit.”

Own up. 

Walk it off.

Smile.

Because,

Dilapedated Beds, Broken Shoes, A Myriad of Different and Mysterious Ailments, The Incessant Need for Duct Tape and Super Glue, The Derelict Neighborhoods, The Long and Harrowing Mornings, The Zest Then Repent, The Hair in the Tub, Boutings with Black Magick, The Circumstantial Hygiene, The Want for Youth while Growing Old, The Romance of Ol’ Scratch, The Adoration of an Absent Family, and The Beginning of Sinning

 is How We Do.

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Fat Magik #1

Things have accumulated in visceral, somewhat predictable, nuances.  They accumulate from spastic jokes told only to myself in transit to somewhere, or from itchy dreams that never resolve to be dreams at all.  Things that ignite cognitive appreciation before they even exist.  This column expounds on these accidental manifestations and trivial incantations.

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Rockman and I sat, half sun bleached – half doused, in one of those creep-ridden day bars along San Cruz’s main drag.  We were killing time waiting for our bus out of that crooked weekend, enjoying the company of the hallowed miscreants that haunt these soulless bars during sunlight.  One such hero was the bartender.  After ambushing our terror rants with a cheers and a greeting, he began divulging, ironically, his woes to us: the soused.  What he told us I can’t exactly recall.  Something or rather about a friend (we surmised that it was his father) getting Cancer.  Sadly, that is not the piece of information that caused me to write about these aforementioned “Accidental Manifestiations”.  Rather, it was the film we bar folk, unanimously, had him put on the bar T.V..  Looking back, it was a slick attempt to get the barkeep to leave us alone.

The film was MAD MAX: BEYOND THUNDERDOME.

I haven’t thought of the film in years.  Not totally discounting the movie because it was the worst of the Road Warrior trilogy, but sometimes art (in even its most superficial form) from your childhood is stored in the pink ether of your head.  And I had forgotten to give the film its due in quite some time.  We watched, as long as our exit plan allowed us to, and relished in the dissent of Australian Absurdest films.

Rockman and I had a hoot and a holler the three hour treck back to Oakland.  Often citing the fantastically ridiculous scene regarding MasterBlaster’s embargo, and his incessant need for validity from Bartertown’s folk by reminding them who “run” it.

The beginning of the summer was signified, soon after, with the departure of Rockman.  He left me alone to our rebel rousing diplomacy for the remainder of the summer.

The MasterBlaster scene had popped up on numerous occasions throughout the months that followed.  At a bar, yelling “WHO RUN BARTERTOWN?!”, at perfomances (often into the mic) asking the same question, and it ringing between my ears when I was left to my own musings. Always waiting for the eruptive answer:  “MasterBlaster run Bartertown!”  But often silently and concisely to my self:  “MasterBlaster”.

Rockman came back a month or so ago.  To my knowledge, the MasterBlaster jokes resolved completely, yet again.  Even after the incessant need to remind myself of it this time, to remind myself to always remember the post-apocalyptic creep train-wreck that is Beyond Thunderdome.  And then, according to Rockman, while on one of his hikes in Berkeley he found a pile of cheap books and records.  And guess what novel version of an infamous film happened to be laying among them?

Needless to say Rockman was excited about his find.  To anybody else it would be deemed an ironic joke, but to Rockman or I, a find like that results in personal triumph, too hard to contain from onlookers, wildly excited like a freak-bat left in sunlight.

We keep literature on top of the toilet.  Rockman and I share the same affinity for reading secondary literature while on the shitter.  One fateful day, when duty called, I reached behind my head and grabbed the Thunderdome novel.

And behold!  Straight away I dropped on page 52 of Joan Vinge’s adaptation.  The scene was the very scene that had sparked so much harmoniously nostalgic humor.  The same place where I had left the film in my head ever since the first viewing.  The only scene that actually mattered:

…Master turned toward Entity’s lowered periscope and shouted, “Who run Bartertown?”

“Damn it!” Entity’s voice shouted raw with anger.  “I told you–no more embargos.”

Master sniggered again and spoke into Blaster’s ear horn.  “More.”

Blaster gave the wheel another turn.  Now the lights in underworld bagan to dim.  Even the pigs fell silent.

Master looked back at the periscope.  “Who run Bartertown?” he cried.

Silence.

“Who run Bartertown?” Master repeated.

Standing in her bright, airy penthouse high above Bartertown, high above the Underworld, her fists clenched until her nails dug into her palms, Entity forced the words out of her throat.  “You know who…”

“Say,” Master insisted with vindictive satisfaction.

“MasterBlaster, ” Entity whispered…

Forever a sullen lullabye of pop culture’s curse on my entire life.

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The Sideways House

The basis is simple.  The nuclear family construct confined to an unmitigatingly strenuous life because there home is simply…sideways.

Karrey Kinney, as the mother, concisely displays their everyday hardship by breaking some eggs in a pan, and attempting to cook them on the oven, upturned on the wall.  Robert Ben Garant, in a half-assed blond wig, winces and pouts as the daughter.

Thomas Lennon bursts into the scene with an oldfashioned-sitcom-father bravado.  The setup now in place, it quickly becomes forever fantastic when Lennon falls from the front door, which is fashioned closer to the ceiling than to the floor.  He yelps with pain, proclaiming his arm broken.  And, in a feign of desperation cries “DAMN THIS SIDEWAYS HOUSE!”  His voice warbling at the very end, with a loud jerk.  I would never be able to properly immitate Lennon’s amazing delivery.  Too bad, that line is, without a doubt, one of the fucking funniest things i’ve ever heard.  It would be unnatural, and probably beside the point, to make note of it’s superbly philisophical and paradoxical nature.  But I just did, so…

Lennon’s terrible saga spirals as he learns of the death of his son, from falling from a toilet perched high against the scene’s main wall.  Joe Lo Truglio perfectly sprawled out on the floor with a contorted neck and boxers at his ankles.  Michael Ian Black enters as a bizarro Mr. Roper:

“Hey yall, hows everything in this crazy sideways house.”
“…AWFUL!”
“Oh come on, its a little funny. i mean your house… ITS SIDEWAYS.”
“ITS NOT FUNNY! ITS DANGEROUS!
MY BOY IS DEAD, AND THIS HOUSE KILLED HIM, AS IT WILL KILL EVERY LAST ONE OF US!”
Brilliant.

Rediscovering MTV’s The State was long overdue.  Season three especially packed the absurdist whallop and looming comedic horror I have sorely missed.  I had taken for granted the amazing surge of television comedy in my 90’s youth.  Sure, I’ve spent time catching up with Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black, gallivanting the absurd after being in internet and VH1 limbo, respectively, with David Wane being their third on the show Stella.  Or Ken Moreno on the recent, and sadly overlooked, cable show “Party On”.  And definetly with Thomas Lennon, Karrey Kinney, and Robert Ben Garant creating the sensational (yet quickly dated) farce that is Reno 911; probably the most successful outing from ex-Staters.

Revisiting these now hip and elusive comedians at their first outing was as if I was listening to Uncle Tupelo, knowing now that Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar have had exciting artistically relevant carrers since disbanding their first project.

But there has been some degree of the unrealized, of course, as any artist can be accountable for in a long escapade of output and the unflinching need to be self-amused. Reno 911 had expired it’s comedic boundaries long before the film version of the show was released.  The Michael Showalter Showalter was lost on many fans, due to its quiet existence as an internet exclusive.  And everyone got tired of Michael Ian Black commenting on whatever cheap trash Vh1 put together, his humor lost in the confines of the network’s themes and demographics.

Though, the State is readily available on DVD now; there is no need to waste your time with Comedy Central’s soon-to-be canceled rescue attempts of The State’s survivors.  Not that any of the shows they now appear on are wholly bad, there are definetly priceless nuggets in all of them, but save yourself the blind hatred, regret, and often nihilistic backlash when the networks decide to take The Staters away from you again.   Only allowing them to pop up in a myriad of scrambled and hard to follow projects.  Forever thinning out into the comedic ether, forever only available on DVD.

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